“I’m not looking for a hand out, I’m looking for a hand up.”
When people get together for a worthy cause, the result is truly empowering. Last weekend, I was fortunate to attend the Center for Women and Enterprise 2015 Annual Auction & Gala at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel. CWE is a non-profit that provides professional guidance and resources to aspiring female entrepreneurs. After 20 successful years, the organization has become a prominent force in the New England region, offering thorough in-class training and networking opportunities.
In keeping with the theme of the gala, Lights.Camera.Action, guests were transported to Hollywood, with props and celebrity impersonators making an ode to pop culture. During the first half of the evening, attendees partook in a silent auction, boasting attractive packages up for bid from exotic vacation getaways to exclusive restaurant deals. Once the auctioneer declared time’s up, the doors opened to the main room where the rest of the function took place. I sat at a beautifully decorated table as a guest of The Locator Services Group (recipient of CWE’s WBENC-Certified Business of the year 2014). After an introduction from 7 News Boston Anchor Janet Wu and a taped speech from CWE co-founder Susan Hammond, the Rising Star Award was given to Beverly Hilaire, owner of A Sweet Place in Dorchester who showcased strong work ethic throughout the course of her studies. Following remarks from CWE President & CEO Susan Rittscher and Chair Susan Penta, the live auction kicked off and raised thousands of dollars towards scholarships for the next crop of female business leaders.
The event’s main takeaway was the power of encouragement. Now more than ever, mentorship is valued as a critical step in career and leadership development. Thanks to CWE, women of all backgrounds have a space for building the skills necessary to bring their visions to action.
Have you sought out professional guidance from business networks? Was the experience beneficial?